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Sedgwick County to hire temporary workers to help with tag office changes

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, at 5:10 p.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012, at 6:08 p.m.

Sedgwick County Treasurer Linda Kizzire will get help converting some vehicle records to the state’s new system after commissioners Wednesday approved hiring four temporary part-time workers.

The total cost will be $74,372 — $22,724 for the rest of this year and $51,648 for next year.

In May, the state switched over to a new $40 million system that combines data about Kansans’ driver’s licenses and vehicle registration. The new system faltered in its first few weeks, causing long lines at tag offices.

Kizzire said the state failed to convert about 6,000 Sedgwick County records, which is the work the temporary staff members will do. In December and January, when the tag offices are slower, Kizzire said, full-time staff also will pitch in on updating records.

Commissioner Jim Skelton lashed out about the modernization project, saying, “I think it’s totally incompetent.”

He said he heard from constituents fed up about the lines. “I am disgusted the public is being treated like this.”

“I think we should make lots of noise” about the state system, Skelton added, saying he understood the problems weren’t Kizzire’s fault.

Kizzire said last week that the state had reimbursed the county about $83,100 for overtime expenses associated with converting to the new system.

Kansas Department of Revenue spokeswoman Jeannine Koranda said in an e-mail that “the new motor vehicle system has successfully processed more than 1.5 million transactions, and the state continues to work with its county treasurer partners to make further system enhancements on a daily basis.”

Koranda said 1 percent of records were affected. by conversion to the new system.

Reach Deb Gruver at 316-268-6400 or dgruver@wichitaeagle.com.

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